• Establishment of Blue Grama and Fourwing Saltbush on Coal Mine Spoils Using Saline Ground Water

      Weiler, G.; Gould, W. L. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      This study was conducted in the greenhouse to determine the effect of limited irrigation of topsoiled sodic shaley spoil with water of various salinities on the emergence and growth of 2 native plant species and on the infiltration rate and salinity buildup of the topsoil. Columns containing 20 cm of sandy loam soil over sodic shaley spoil were seeded to blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) or fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens). The columns were irrigated with water having 4 levels of salinity ranging from 750 to 12,890 micro-mhos/cm and sodium adsorption ratios ranging from 2 to 68. The emergence and growth of blue grama was reduced as the salinity of the water increased; no plants survived the most saline treatment. The most saline water reduced the emergence of fourwing saltbush, but the saltbush grew well after the seedling stage. The infiltration rate was lowered as the sodicity of the irrigation water increased, and the electrical conductivity of the soil increased as the amount and salinity of the water increased. The study indicates that moderately saline water (EC is lesser than or equal to 4230 micro-mhos) will probably be suitable for revegetating mine spoils using blue grama and fourwing saltbush.